This talk of translation also brings to the fore the nagging question I have when I read Murakami's work. I can't help wondering what his work is like in Japanese. I've convinced myself that it's even better, and I feel like I'm missing out.
I've often wondered the same thing about other writers, but I don't worry too much about it in Haruki Murakami's case. The reason is that he's a very rare beast among writers who don't ordinarily write in English: he is both 1) completely fluent in English, and 2) popular enough so that all his books are translated into English during his lifetime. He also has a couple of translators he knows well and whom he can work with...thus, his translations have a certain "official" status, at least in my mind, as he gets to vet them, and can actually appreciate the way they "feel" in English.
I wish I could remember where I found this, but I remember reading a short essay or interview with Murakami in which discussed his English translations and his feelings toward them. If I remember right, he liked them, but appreciated that they had a different flavor. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, let us know.
On a side note, I got a real laugh when flipping through the Spanish edition of one of my own books...in the English, the character refers to someone having real "cojones," and in the translation there's a footnote reading, "In Spanish in the original."